Friday, October 17, 2008

Autumn in the North Country

These are the days that I wish that time would stand still. I feel completely blessed when I look out my window to see the fabulous blaze of color that graces my world. Every maple & aspen tree for miles is bursting with the rich colors of crimson, amber, scarlet, bronze & ginger, dotted with just a hint of green. Above all of this triumphs the magnificent Harvest Moon, mesmerizing the earth with it's magical power, surrounded by a glittering sea of stars.

The gift of sight is something we all take for granted until we experience the glory of nature, whether it's the fall foliage or a litter of fuzzy kittens, or a gorgeous magenta sunset over the water, or a blanket of virgin snow glistening under a crystal clear ocean of sky. Of all of the sense I have been born with, it's the gift of sight that I know that I would miss the most. Yet hearing my favorite music or even my sons whispering "I love you, Mom" in my ear would be tough to let go of, not to mention the smell of freshly cut grass or homemade apple crisp. I do know that I could remember what it feels like to cuddle & kiss my loved ones; and I absolutely know that I could live comfortably without tasting another piece of chocolate or homemade bread. But sight is so precious, so vivid!

Close your eyes and think of the things that bring beautiful images into clear view. For me it's the seasons... which explains why I live in the North.

We often experience a long snowy winter, everything covered with a frosty white coat of lacy snowflakes & glassy icicles. People huddle beside the fire, sipping steamy mugs of hot chocolate after a day of skiing, skating, sledding, or youth hockey tournaments. The Christmas holiday enhances our sense of hope, love & charity, as we deck the halls with evergreens, twinkling lights and treasured ornaments. Christmas fades into the excitement of ringing in the New Year, followed quickly by the romance of Valentine's Day and finally the merriment of St Paddy's Day.

Then Spring blossoms slowly into life, bringing a rainbow of breathtaking colors to herald the rebirth of all living things: pretty leaf buds, chubby bluebirds & robins, bright yellow daffodils & shiny red tulips. Birds sing in cheerful symphonies as they hurry to make cozy nests for their brood of fluffy chicks.

Eventually the warmth of Summer overtakes us, with our flags of freedom waving from every porch decked out with hanging baskets of petunias & ivy. Every garden beams with the kaleidoscopic flair of a crayon box, begging us to grace every empty vase with their dazzling color. Adirondack chairs and rope hammocks beckon the weary weekend warrior to take comfort in their lap. Docks lay in wait for children to bound, at full speed, down their beaten planks to make a huge splash in the cool clear lakewater below. Rivers ripple as lines are cast by anglers hoping to reel in the "Big One" that got away last season.

Finally Autumn envelopes us with its trumpet of south flying geese and shock of rich color. The time has come to ready ourselves for the harvest, to batten down the hatches and prepare for the long, often hard, winter that lays ahead. Monarch butterflies flutter gracefully across meadows sprinkled with wild asters, sipping enough nectar to fuel their long flight to Mexico. Corn stalks wave in the chilly breeze as the tractor hums ominously in the distance. Pumpkins adorn every doorstep surrounded by silly scarecrows and pots filled with plump mums. This is the season for soccer & football, jumping in leaves, picking apples, carving pumpkins, and breaking out the crockpots & wool socks.

Autumn in the North Country is an exquisite and enchanting season, one that I favor and one that will forever behold the most precious times in my life; the birth of both of my sons. Happy Birthday, boys. May your lives be enriched by the glory of the harvest and all that life has to offers.

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